We have pressure treated wood stairs leading up to our front door from
the street level. At some point someone decided to paint that
material, and EVERY year, I have to repaint, because the paint doesn't
seem to really "stick" well to the pressure treated wood material. It
peels off in ugly patches. Not how I want my front entryway to appear
of course! One thought I had is to replace the most visible pieces,
(stair treads and rails) with new composite planks. However, I am not
sure it is possible or advisable to mix and match these materials?
Thanks for any suggestions!
Pressure-treated wood paints pretty well, as long as it's prepped
properly. That would include a good cleaning, sanding where needed, and
the proper primer before the paint. Oh, and you're supposed to wait
three months or more before painting new PT wood--it's too wet
otherwise. I bet that someone in the past skipped the prep steps, just
slapping on a coat of paint, and you have to suffer for their laziness.
I recommend you take your problem to a real paint store. The people
there will have lots more experience than the highschool student at the
big box store.
Here's my suggestion:
* Power wash the steps to get stuff loose (and clean). Let dry.
* Scrape to get off the stuff you just loosened up.
* Sand the entire thing to get rid of the edges where paint chipped.
* Wash with tri-sodium phosphate (TSP).
* Paint, two coats
If you really want to replace the wood, composite should do fine. Check
with the supplier first to find out whether it takes paint. Composite
is a mixture of sawdust and plastic, so you might have to do something
special with it.
 To be fair, I _have_ occasionally found good paint people at the
borgs, but it's rare.
Some pressure treatments for wood are paintable. FWIW, my basement
stairs still look fine after a decade in typical old basement/crawl
space conditions. However,the coarse grained wet treated kind of wood
seems to be a different sort as I found out by attempting to paint an
outdoor rose arbor. There may be primers and paints that are rugged
enough for what you need, perhaps an epoxy paint. Ask at a pro paint
store for best advice.
Your reservations about mix and match materials is valid. Even if it
worked it might not be esthetically pleasing. You might want to
consider some of the prefab assemblies at the box stores for a
complete relacement. Good luck.
Thanks Joe, Steve and the bunch... great suggestions. Last year I did
rent a power washer and the folks at the paint store said to try a
*stain* rather than what appeared to be latex paint. I may go the
epoxy route if I can blow the loose stuff off. BTW, it ends up making
a huge mess that it really hard to clean up, paint chips all over the
yard. My wife really just wants to rebuild the thing because they
look so terrible.
Anyway, thanks again -- I'm probably eventually headed the "prefab"
direction, though it may need to wait until Spring at this rate.
I just finished building steps for a deck, and it's a fun project.
You'll be frustrated for a while figuring out rise and run, but once
you figure it out, the project will fly. Come back here for all the
help that's not fit to print.
Remember to make the steps tilt a little toward the edge so water runs
Yes, if you're asking what I think you're asking.
Composite decks are normally built with pressure-treated framing, with the
composite decking on top of that. Many brands need air flow underneath, so you
can't just screw it down on top of old pressure treated deck boards, those have
to come up first. There's also special screws that you will want to use, and
they are expensive! But they make for a much neater installation as the
material will not 'mushroom' when you drive the screws in.
I just finished installing about 200 sq feet of GAF Cross Timbers decking over
my old pressure treated deck frame. The treated deck boards were deteriorating
and I was tired of them, so off they came. My framing was still sound so didn't
Some composite decking may take stain or paint, but it doesn't sound like you
really want to do that anyway.
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